Jaylen Brown hailed Kristaps Porzingis after the Boston Celtics power forward returned from injury with a "monster game" against the Dallas Mavericks.

Porzingis, who has been absent for five weeks with a calf strain, played a starring role from the bench against his former side, as the Celtics drew first blood in the NBA Finals with a 107-89 win in Game 1.

Having not played since Game 4 in the first round against the Miami Heat, the Latvian marked his return with 20 points, six rebounds and three blocks at TD Garden.

And Brown, who top-scored for the Celtics with 22 points, paid tribute to his team-mate.

"Kristaps had a monster game for us," he said. "Just his presence shooting the ball and then him being able to attack those switches and mismatches, he made them pay every time, and that's what we need going forward in the series."

Porzingis was understandably thrilled to make up for lost time with his inspired display for top seeds Boston, who are targeting a record-breaking 18th NBA title this year.

"The adrenaline was just pumping through my veins," he said. "Obviously, it wasn't ideal that I was out for such a long time.

"But, I did everything I could to prepare mentally for this moment coming back, and it paid off, and we got the job done tonight and had a good game, and happy about the result.

"Tonight was an affirmation to myself that I'm pretty good, you know? Maybe I'm not perfect, but I'm pretty good and I can play like this and I can definitely add to this team."

The Boston Celtics return to the NBA Finals as a different team to that beaten by the Golden State Warriors two years ago, says their Eastern Conference finals hero Jaylen Brown.

Brown won the Larry Bird Trophy as Eastern Conference finals MVP on Monday, having helped the top-seeded Celtics complete a 4-0 series sweep of the Indiana Pacers.

In Game 4, Brown sank 10 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the Celtics recovered from a nine-point deficit with under nine minutes left for a 105-102 victory.

The Celtics have reached the Eastern Conference finals six times in the last eight years but this is just the second time they have progressed to the NBA Finals in that run. They last did so in 2021-22, only to be beaten 4-2 by the Warriors.

Brown believes they have become a better team for that experience, however.

"We feel like we're a different team than we were last year and the year before that," Brown said. 

"I know everybody wants to continue to pigeonhole us with what was happening in the past but we've had a different team every single year, different coaches, we've had like three coaches in the last five years. 

"Still people want to make it seem like it's the same, it's the same, it's the same.

"Time has gone by, experience has been gained and I think we are ready to put our best foot forward."

Jayson Tatum supported Brown with 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists on Monday, while Jrue Holiday had 17 points and Derrick White tacked on 16.

"It's special," Tatum said. "Even though we've been there before, most of us have, you don't take it for granted. We were excited.

"It was a hell of a team we just played, they made us earn every single game and we're extremely grateful to move on to the Finals."

Derrick White's tie-breaking 3-pointer with 45 seconds left sent the Boston Celtics into the NBA Finals for the second time in three years with a 105-102 win over the Indiana Pacers in Monday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The top-seeded Celtics, who were ousted in seven games by the Miami Heat in last year's East finals, completed a sweep of this best-of-seven series by rallying from a nine-point deficit with under nine minutes left.

Jaylen Brown led Boston's comeback by scoring 10 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and coming up with a key late block that preceded White's winning shot. The Celtics also received 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists from Jayson Tatum, as well as another strong performance from their backcourt duo of White and Jrue Holiday.

Holiday totalled 17 points and nine rebounds while White had 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting along with a game-high five steals.

The sixth-seeded Pacers were unable to extend the series while playing a second straight game without All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton, who injured his hamstring in Thursday's Game 2.

Andrew Nembhard led Indiana with 24 points and 10 assists, while Pascal Siakam posted 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The Celtics will face the winner of the Western Conference finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves, and will host Game 1 on Thursday, June 6. The Mavericks lead that series 3-0 and can advance at home in Tuesday's Game 4. 

A tightly contested game saw neither side lead by more than eight points until the Pacers put forth a 5-0 run, capped by Nembhard's 3-point play with 8:57 left to play, to take a 94-85 advantage.

Indiana led 98-90 with under six minutes to go before the Celtics began catching fire. After Brown hit two free throws and Tatum knocked down a 3-pointer, Holiday drove the lane and was fouled while getting a layup to go down following a made basket by Nembhard. Boston's veteran guard calmly hit the ensuing free throw to bring the Celtics within 100-98 with 3:54 left.

It remained a two-point game until Brown knocked down a floater with 2:40 left to tie the score at 102-102. Shortly thereafter, the All-Star forward rejected Nembhard in the lane as Boston's Al Horford grabbed the rebound with the contest headed towards the final minute of play.

Brown then found an open White in the right corner, and the valued guard drained a 23-footer to send the Celtics ahead.

Indiana had one final chance to force overtime, but Nembhard's 3-point try missed the mark and the Pacers failed to get another shot off. 

 

 

 

Jaylen Brown hailed the Boston Celtics' never-say-die attitude after his last-gasp 3-pointer teed up their overtime win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Indiana Pacers were just 6.1 seconds away from a 117-114 road win in the opening game of the series on Tuesday, only for Brown to sink a 3 over Pascal Siakam from the corner to level things up.

Two Tyrese Haliburton free throws put the Pacers back in front in overtime, but Jayson Tatum scored 10 of his game-high 36 points in the additional period as Boston triumphed 133-128.

Jrue Holiday supported Tatum with 28 points, while Brown added 26. All three players finished with three steals apiece as Indiana committed 21 turnovers.

Speaking after the dramatic finale, Brown said: "Welcome to the NBA playoffs! You've just got to manage your emotions. Anything can happen. 

"It's not over until the final buzzer sounds. It's not over until it’s over. We found a way to win the game at the very end."

Holiday echoed those sentiments, adding: "We've seen crazy stuff happen all the time. 

"We don't think we've lost a game until we've actually lost the game. That's part of the reason why we were so resilient towards the end.

"A couple of turnovers, a great shot, a great look by JB, or at the other end if we make a couple other shots that were wide open it could be a completely different game. 

"We're just the type of team that's going to keep on fighting no matter how long and no matter what it takes."

The Celtics host Game 2 on Thursday as they target a first NBA Finals appearance since 2021-22, when they were runners-up to the Golden State Warriors.

Asked how Boston will approach Game 2, Tatum said: "Don't relax, it'll be different circumstances. The first two rounds we won our Game 1 by a wide margin, so maybe human nature played into that. 

"But tonight being a close game, going into overtime, we certainly felt like we should have won and we could have played better."

Jayson Tatum scored 10 of his 36 points in overtime and the Boston Celtics capitalised on some sloppy play by the Indiana Pacers for a 133-128 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.

Jrue Holiday had 28 points and Jaylen Brown added 26, none bigger than his tying 3-pointer with 6.1 seconds left in regulation.

The Celtics finished with 11 steals - three each by Brown, Tatum and Holiday. They became the first team in NBA playoff history to have three players record 25 points and three steals in a game. 

Game 2 is Thursday night in Boston.

Tyrese Haliburton had 25 points and 10 assists for the Pacers, who scored 56 points in the paint against a Celtics team missing injured 7-footer Kristaps Porziņģis. The Pacers, though, committed 21 turnovers.

Indiana twice turned the ball over with a three-point lead in the final 30 seconds of regulation. Brown’s 3 from the corner with Pascal Siakam in his face tied it at 117.

Tyrese Haliburton sank three free throws after he was fouled with 1:46 to go in overtime to put the Pacers ahead 123-121, but Tatum completed a three-point play 34 seconds later to give Boston the lead for good.

Tatum’s 3 following another Indiana turnover with 43 seconds left extended the lead, and he hit two free throws with nine seconds left to seal the win.

Jayson Tatum credited the Cleveland Cavaliers for the fight they showed in Donovan Mitchell's absence after helping the Boston Celtics take a 3-1 lead in the teams' Eastern Conference semifinal series. 

Tatum had 33 points and 11 rebounds as the Celtics moved within a game of reaching the conference finals for a third straight year with Monday's 109-102 road win.

Cleveland, who were already without starting center Jarrett Allen due to a rib contusion, were also deprived of their leading scorer after Mitchell suffered a calf strain in Game 3.

However, the Cavs stayed in the game until Jaylen Brown sank a clutch 3-pointer with 69 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, with Derrick White and Tatum then making a couple of free throws each to add some gloss to the scoreline.

Darius Garland had 30 points and seven assists for the Cavs while Caris LeVert had 19 points, leaving Tatum impressed. 

"It's to be expected, right? When the best player goes out, everybody has more freedom, more opportunity," Tatum said of Boston's opponents.

"Obviously, we knew it wasn't going to be easy. It's the playoffs, they don't want to go home. 

"Give them credit, they played hard from beginning to end and made big plays on both ends. They hit big shots, so it was a battle, and it was fun out there."

Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff also heaped praise on his players, saying: "I mean, they laid it all out there. They gave us everything that they had. 

"They competed at a high level. They played the game properly. I'm proud of the guys, the way they went out and scrapped and competed and gave ourselves a chance."

Boston now have a chance to wrap up the series in Game 5 at TD Garden on Wednesday, an opportunity Brown is keen to ensure they take.

"There's nothing better than winning a playoff game on the road," Brown said. "It's like everybody's against you guys. It's a tough environment, the crowd was great, but as a competitor, it's really fun to be in an environment like that, to win on the road.

"Now it's time to go back and play well in front of our fans and give them something to cheer for and try to get a win."

Shai GIlgeous-Alexander scored 22 of his 34 points in the second half to rally the Oklahoma City Thunder from a 14-point deficit and earn a crucial 100-96 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Monday's Game 4 of a Western Conference semifinal series.

Chet Holmgren had 11 of his 18 points after half-time and added nine rebounds to help the top-seeded Thunder even the best-of-seven series at 2-2 as it heads back to Oklahoma City for Wednesday's all-important Game 5.

The fifth-seeded Mavericks squandered an opportunity to put the Thunder on the brink of elimination despite setting a franchise play-off record with 13 blocks, including four each from Derrick Jones Jr. and rookie Dereck Lively II.

Jones finished with 17 points in the loss, while Luka Dončić registered a triple-double for Dallas with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. 

The Mavericks led the majority of the game and owned an 86-80 advantage just past the midway point of the fourth quarter before Oklahoma City began its late surge. The Thunder seized momentum with a 12-2 run, capped by consecutive 3-pointers from Holmgren and Luguentz Dort, to go up 92-88 with 2:14 remaining.

Dallas answered on Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, but back-to-back baskets by the Thunder's Jalen Williams gave Oklahoma City a 96-91 lead entering the final minute.

The Mavericks again responded and had a chance to tie it when Doncic was fouled with 10.1 seconds left with Dallas trailing 96-94. The MVP finalist made just one of his two shots, however, and the Thunder sealed the outcome by going 4 for 4 from the foul line in the waning moments.

Free throw shooting played a part in the result, as Oklahoma City finished 23 of 24 from the line compared to 12 of 23 for Dallas.

The Mavericks held a 54-43 lead at half-time after limiting the Thunder to under 35 per cent shooting for the first two quarters, and stretched the margin to 14 when P.J. Washington hit a 3-pointer to begin the third.

Oklahoma City closed the gap before the end of the period, though, as it ended the third quarter on a 9-2 run to pull within 69-65 entering the fourth.

Celtics handle injury-plagued Cavaliers to take 3-1 lead

In the East, the top-seeded Boston Celtics moved within a game of reaching the conference finals for a third straight year after posting a 109-102 Game 4 win over the shorthanded Cleveland Cavaliers behind Jayson Tatum's 33 points and 11 rebounds. 

Jaylen Brown added 27 points to help Boston take a 3-1 series lead over a fourth-seeded Cavaliers team playing without leading scorer Donovan Mitchell. The All-Star guard was unavailable due to a strained left calf he sustained in Cleveland's 106-93 loss in Saturday's Game 3.

The Cavaliers also remained without starting center Jarrett Allen, who hasn't played since Game 4 of their opening-round series against Orlando due to a rib contusion.

Darius Garland kept Cleveland competitive by producing 30 points and seven assists, while Caris LeVert had 19 points starting in place of Mitchell.

Boston can close out the series at home in Wednesday's Game 5.

Tatum set the tone right from the outset, scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the first quarter to stake the Celtics to a 37-30 lead after one period.

The All-Star forward closed out the first half with a 3-pointer that sent Boston into the break with a 62-57 advantage, though Cleveland opened the third quarter on an 8-2 run to move ahead by a 65–64 score three minutes into the second half.

Boston re-asserted control from there, however, as it outscored the Cavs by a 14-4 margin over the next 4 1/2 minutes. Brown had seven points during the spurt, which Derrick White capped with a 3-pointer for a 78-69 Celtics' lead with 4:50 left in the third quarter.

The Celtics stretched the lead to 98-83 with under eight minutes left, though Cleveland kept battling and put together a 12-2 run to close the gap to 100-95 with three minutes left to play.

Brown hit a clutch 3-pointer with 1:09 to go, however, to put Boston up 105-97, and the Celtics kept Cleveland at bay the rest of the way as White and Tatum each made two free throws in the closing stages.

 

 

 

Jaylen Brown praised the Boston Celtics for proving to themselves they are "not here to play around" in their 106-93 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3.

The Celtics' win on Saturday edged them into a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals after losing Game 2 with a defensive performance Brown described as "unacceptable".

At Cleveland, they bounced back - Jayson Tatum had 33 points and 12 rebounds, while Brown added 28 points as the Celtics avoided a second consecutive defeat.

"I think we just need everybody to be on the same page and everybody to come out with the right effort," Brown said.

"That's 85% of the battle right there. We come out, we play hard, and then we're on the same page and the rest will take care of itself. We got enough talent in the locker room to beat teams.

"But if we're not on the same page, and we're not playing hard, those are when we get ourselves in trouble. So making sure, before the game at film and shootaround, talking to everybody, touching everybody, letting everybody know that 'Hey, we're not here to play around.'

"We didn't come to Cleveland for the weather, so let's go.

"It's the playoffs. Anything can happen, especially if you come out flat. We've got to do a better job of that, we can't think like this series is going to go like last series.

"We've got to come out and have the same defensive effort going into Game 4 and that's just the urgency we need to have."

Donovan Mitchell starred for Cleveland, scoring 33 points, but was forced off late in the game due to a knee injury, and despite showing signs of a comeback, they could not find any answers in the fourth quarter.

"I just think we didn't hit the same shots we did [in Game 2]," Mitchell said.

"For us, just being able to finish. We missed a lot of shots at the rim, myself included, missed a lot of shots that I think we just got to make. And also, we didn't really shoot that great from 3, but not a bad per cent, but we didn't shoot that well.

"So I think those are different things, and we got to get our looks and take them, because if we don't, we're driving back into the crowd, and they want us to. So being able to take our shots when they're open."

Jaylen Brown hailed the growth of "aggressive" Derrick White, who continued his impressive postseason form in the Boston Celtics' victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The pair scored a combined 57 points as the Celtics prevailed 120-95 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semi-finals series at TD Garden.

White notched up seven three-pointers - going four-for-six in the third quarter - as he became only the fifth player in NBA history to make 20 or more over a three-game span in the postseason, after Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jamal Murray and Damian Lillard.

And Brown, who was 12-for-18 shooting to go with six rebounds, two assists and just one turnover, paid tribute to his team-mate as the Celtics improved to 5-1 in the playoffs.

"Derrick has grown," Brown said. "He's a new version that we haven't seen before.

"He's put the work in, his body has developed a little bit, he's got some more playoff experience. He's being aggressive, and we urge him to do that more and more down the line."

Asked if he felt like he was in a rhythm, White said: "I'd say so. It feels good. I just want to help us win."

Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell's haul of 33 points and six assists proved academic for the Cavaliers, who suffered their fourth successive road defeat in the postseason.

J.B. Bickerstaff, whose side came through an epic seven-game series against Orlando Magic in the opening round on Sunday, saluted the efforts of his players.

"There's a lot of areas we can improve on," he said. "I thought the guys came out with the right intent and the right effort. Facing a team like Boston, I think it's good to be able to play them.

"You're not used to the speed, the spacing, the shooting and all those things until you get up against them - especially coming from a series we just came from that was more of a half-court slugfest, where they play with more tempo and more space. We'll learn from it, and we'll be better."

Kristaps Porzingis suggested Thursday's defeat to the New York Knicks could be just what the Boston Celtics needed ahead of the playoffs.

The Celtics went down 118-109 to the Knicks, as New York hunt down the No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Boston have long since had their playoff berth secured, but have now lost their last two games.

Porzingis, though, is taking the positives.

"It stings to have this loss, but maybe we need this before heading into the postseason with a killer mentality," Porzingis said.

"It's not who we are. This is not the team our fans love. That wasn't on display.

"You best believe we'll show up when we have to. We know what the goal is and make no mistake about it."

Jaylen Brown chipped in with 15 points for the Celtics, and like Porzingis, recognises Boston have not been up to scratch as of late.

"We got out-toughed the last two games and haven't played to our standard," Brown said.

"The game has shifted and it's going to shift even more in the playoffs."

Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 39 points, and New York are now just one game behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the race for the No.2 seed.

"We made shots and made the right plays," Brunson said.

"Obviously, we know they're the top dog in the East. Whenever you play against them, it's always a good measuring stick to see where you're at.

"We played pretty well, but we know what they’re capable of doing. We just had their number tonight."

 

Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla lauded his side after clinching NBA Playoffs home advantage following Wednesday's routine victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Celtics powered to a 135-100 triumph against the Thunder as Boston secured the best NBA record this season and home-court preference for the postseason.

Kristaps Porzingis had 27 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, while Jayson Tatum finished with 24 points and Jaylen Brown added another 23 as Boston made it 11 straight wins.

"It's very hard to do. We may never be in this position again," Mazzulla said. "We talked about it as a team. We talked about it before the game, to try to treat this game as the clincher.

"To kind of put that on ourselves to be able to do that. I think it was important for us to simulate that. We should enjoy it tonight, and when we wake up tomorrow – nobody cares."

The Celtics extended to 60-16 for the season, though Brown still wants more when the playoffs arrive.

"We're not skipping any steps," Brown said. "Sixty wins. I think we're on track. When the playoffs start, it's back to square one."

Porzingis added: "We deserve it. I think it's possibly going to matter if we follow through with the vision we have for ourselves."

There were some Boston concerns after Brown was questionable with a left-hand injury heading into the Thunder clash, though the Celtics man assured all is well.

"I think it's fine. It's something I'm not concerned with moving forward," he said. "But it bothered me a little bit tonight."

Mazzulla will hope Brown is available when Boston look to improve their record further when hosting the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

Jaylen Brown scored 33 points to lead the NBA-leading Boston Celtics to their eighth straight victory, 129-102 over the short-handed Detroit Pistons on Friday.

Payton Pritchard had 20 points and Derrick White added 19 with 11 assists for Boston, which has won 18 of 20 games to continue cruising toward the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Leading scorer Jayson Tatum sat out to rest an ankle for the second time in five days.

James Wiseman scored a season-high 24 points for the Pistons, who have lost five in a row overall and the last nine meetings with the Celtics.

Detroit was missing its top post players in Jalen Duren (back), Stanley Umude (ankle), Simone Fontecchio (toe), Isaiah Stewart (hamstring) and Ausar Thompson (illness).

Pelicans roll over Heat

CJ McCollum scored 30 points and the New Orleans Pelicans exacted a measure of revenge on the Miami Heat with a 111-88 rout.

Jose Alvarado added 17 points and Trey Murphy had 14 with eight rebounds as the Pelicans had no trouble in the first meeting between the teams since four players were ejected in the most recent matchup in New Orleans last month.

Zion Williamson was limited to only four points in 25 minutes, but the Pelicans won their eighth in 10 games.

Jimmy Butler scored 17 points as the Heat dropped to 17-16 at home, the 19th-best mark in the league. Miami dropped four games behind Southeast Division-leading Orlando.

Thunder down reeling Raptors

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in his only regular-season trip to his native Canada and the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled away to defeat the Toronto Raptors, 123-103.

Jalen Williams added 20 points and Kenrich Williams and Cason Wallace scored 12 apiece as the Thunder won their fourth straight and remained on top of the Western Conference.

Rookie Gradey Dick scored 21 points for the Raptors, who lost their ninth straight game. Toronto was without seven players, including five regular starters.

Jaylen Brown is counting his lucky stars as the Boston Celtics man feels blessed with another chance at achieving "something special".

Brown posted 27 points, one more than teammate Jayson Tatum, as the Celtics overcame the Portland Trail Blazers 121-99, despite the absence of injured stars Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis.

That victory over Portland marked the Eastern Conference-leading Boston's 50th of the season for a third straight campaign.

"All the guys laugh because, around this time of year, I say the same thing – how much of an honor it is to be on this team," Brown said.

"I'm grateful to be on a team that's winning, that's been playing the right way, has another opportunity to do something special. That's a blessing."

With a mammoth 18 games remaining, the Celtics have already secured a playoff spot after becoming the first team to hit the 50-win mark this year.

Boston lost the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors in 2022 before Conference Finals defeat against the Miami Heat the following year, though Tatum remains buoyant.

"At this point of the season, to have 50 wins, it means we're doing something right," Tatum added. "The scary part is, we can get better."

Sam Hauser also finished with a season-high six 3-pointers and 22 points for Boston, who have won an NBA-leading 21 games on the road this season.

"We don't really look at a team's record," Hauser said. "It's the NBA, everybody has talented players.

"You can lose any given night, so we just try to take it one day at a time, once game at a time, and find things that we can get better at each and every day."

The Celtics will hope to keep up their winning run on the road when they visit the Utah Jazz on Tuesday.

Jaylen Brown believes the Boston Celtics' defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers was a "mentality loss".

The NBA-leading Celtics threw away a 22-point lead in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's game, as they saw an 11-game winning streak come to an end with a 105-104 loss.

And Boston can only have themselves to blame, according to Brown, who finished with 21 points.

"I think we are a much better team than we showed today," Jaylen Brown said. "Today was just a mentality loss.

"We had the game and then we got comfortable, so it was more of a mindset thing than X's and O's.

"We've got to just be the more disciplined, the more militant team. We weren't that. Usually, we are that, and we felt that today and I think that's the reason why they were able to get back into the game.

"Our mindset was a little bit too lax, and we were too careless with the ball. We weren't intentional on offense.

"We kind of let guys get to tendencies that we were supposed to take away. We gave up offensive rebounds, stuff that all just comes with mindset."

Coach Joe Mazzulla echoed Brown's sentiment, citing defensive mistakes.

"We've given up offensive rebounds at the end of the shot clock when we were winning," he said.

"I think that, in situations like this, they just become a little bit more heightened and a little bit more attention to detail to them.

"They're the same situations that have been happening. They're just in more of a critical time. So it's a good heightened awareness to them."

Brown, meanwhile, asserted that the Celtics must learn from their mistakes.

"Today matters," Brown said. "Whether everybody wants to throw it away or not, we gotta look at the film and address some stuff, because that matters.

"Your habits are everything. Your mentality is everything. And every game, you can't waste possessions, you can't waste time out there on the floor.

"So, today matters. We need to look at that."

Dean Wade starred for the Cavs, going 5-for-5 from deep in their fourth-quarter revival, finishing with 23 points.

"Rank's pretty high. Pretty high," he said. "It felt good. The rim looked really big."

Stephen Curry lamented a "perfect storm" as the Golden State Warriors were on the end of a 140-88 defeat to the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

The loss at TD Garden was the fourth-worst the Warriors, who entered the contest in good form, have suffered in franchise history.

It marks the third time this season the Celtics have won by 50 points or more, meanwhile, as they racked up an 11th victory in a row.

"The way that they've been playing, they seem very sure of themselves in their identity and who they are," Curry said. "Give them credit. 

"They came out and whooped us from the jump, and it was a perfect storm of a rough [day] on our end and them taking it to us."

Curry played despite being questionable, but he did not feature in the second half as he finished with a season-low tally of four points.

The Warriors will hope to have Curry back to full fitness for their return to action against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

"This was not a day off for Steph, though he probably could have used one," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said.

"He's played so well and for so long this year. Hopefully the next few days he'll get it recharged."

Jaylen Brown led the scoring with 29 points, while birthday boy Jayson Tatum had 26 in the Celtics' third-biggest victory in franchise history.

Boston led by a franchise-record 44 points at the midway point and went on to extend their advantage to 51 before making some changes.

"It feels great, but, at the same time, it's always within humility," Brown said. "We don't take the game for granted. 

"We didn't come and mess around and that's just how we show our respect to the game, we handle business and take care of it.

"It's a lot of respect for the Golden State Warriors, but we feel like it's our time now."

The 48-12 Celtics lead the Eastern Conference, while the Warriors are ninth in the Western Conference with a record of 32-28. 

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